Sailor Moon Crystal- Act 3 – Rei – Sailor Mars
I wonder if marathoning this show would make it feel too fast paced? I raise that concern only to say that I really did like this episode, but it just flew by. With the show more closely following the manga, the team is assembled much more quickly than in the original anime. I think Takeuchi works with this interesting choice that could be a weakness by giving the girls a lot of time to breath. The conceit of hearing about nefarious goings on through gossip at Usagi and Ami’s school efficiently allows them to be clued in to information that will directly effect their lives as Sailor Guardians while they continue their lives as students. Holding meetings at Crown Arcade allows them to get more accessories to use in their missions while letting us see more of who Usagi and Ami are, the fact the Luna got Usagi to perk up for the meeting there says a lot about the two of them and Ami.
The flash of the Moon Kingdom Rei received when seeing Usagi and Ami on the bus is maybe a touch opaque, but I don’t demand twists or reveals in my media as some do. Iti is clear from the opening credits and the framing of the show that she is going to be an important character and in this type of work that probably means she’ll transform. This show and the manga that came before it aren’t on a mission to surprise the audience and they don’t need to. The familiarity of the genre is not a weakness of the show so far, because the monsters of the week, power ups and new members joining the ranks aren’t the focus. The characters matter here. The dangers in the action scenes are representative of the culmination of events in the girl’s personal lives. Usagi extends kindness to those around her and her good will towards others and faith in people is what gives her strength. Is Usagi hadn’t been attracted to Rei because of her beauty and defended her they wouldn’t have formed a connection and Jadeite would have put an end to the Sailor Guardians.
This show has heart and that is what makes it good. I could see these characters in any number of setting and it would still be good and entertaining. Takeuchi laid out a good story and the Crystal team did a good job executing it and breathing life into this world. The music in particular was very good this episode. The music made the atmosphere ominous ans triumphant (at the right times of course). There was a good balance of humor and tension too.
I give this episode a 4 out of 5. I now expect a lot from the show, so I may judge each episode a bit more harshly because the bar has been set high. Let’s just hope Usagi doesn’t do another long wink. Please. If you have been on the fence, you should definitely jump in.